Sachin Tendulkar, the iconic cricketer who is going to play his 200th and last test match against West Indies next month, has made an investment in online travel portal.
Way back in June, 2013, he had picked up a minority stake of 7.5% in UAE based travel portal Musafir.com. He is also the brand ambassador of this online travel portal and responsible for online and offline promotion. So expect more advertisements of this Cricket God on billboards across highways, and on TV and websites, blogs, and radio.
Musafir.com is a travel portal based in UAE and founded by Mohammed Al Thani, Sachin Gadoya and Albert Dias. They offer premium travel packages across 3000 locations, and have collaborated with over 270 airlines and 47000 hotels all over the world. The website claims that are managing travel requirements of over 2000 organizations in India and abroad.
Reportedly, Musafir.com is going to invest Rs 100 crore into their Indian launch, out of which 60% would be spent on marketing alone. This investment would be done through UAE-based Universal Travels & Tourism and India-based Viva Holdings.
Travel Industry Is Hot
This is a smart move by Sachin, who is obviously targeting the huge segment of Online travel in eCommerce niche. By 2015, travel related online transactions are going to touch Rs 55,000 crore and even Bollywood celebrities such as Salman Khan has already moved into this space.
Some other notable investments into Online travel niche in recent months include:
- Thrillophilia.com, Bangalore based travel portal has raised $200,000 in angel funding from Hyderabad Angels and iLabs Venture Capital Fund, Navlok Ventures and Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE-IIMA)
- Stayzilla.com was able to get venture capital from Matrix Powers in July, 2013
- TouristLink.com secured angel funding from African accelerator 88MPH in October, 2013
- MyGola.com had raised $1.5 million venture capital from Helion Ventures
- TicketGoose.com has raised INR 18 crores for their Online Bus ticket booking portal.
Sachin Tendulkar- The Investor
This is not the first time Sachin has turned into an investor.
Some of the startups where he has invested:
Smaash Entertainment is into augmented reality stimulators which provides a chance to play cricket virtually. Besides that, users can also experience F1 race, tennis, football and other games. Founded by the serial entrepreneur Shripal Morakhia, Smaash Entertainment has created technology which enables them to create portable cricket pitches anywhere, on demand. Sachin has 18% stake in this company.
- Universal Collectabillia is a celebrity merchandise and brand extension firm jointly owned by Anjana Reddy who is part of Deccan Heard family and Sachin Tendulkar. The company had secured $5 million venture capital from Accel Partners last year and have celebrity contracts with Rajnikanth, MS Dhoni, Sania Mirza among others. Sachin owns 26% in this company.
Rumors were also flying high that Sachin is about to campaign for Congress party in MP. It seems that he has strategically planned his retirement. It seems that Sachin has clarified that he will not be participating in politics…
He has retired from sports, but not from the game.
We wish that he excels in all his projects!